Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu today launched Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine under the national immunization program from here.During a state level launch function at Sub Divisional Hospital Dera Bassi, Mr. Sidhu said that this vaccine will prevent children against the deadly diseases caused by Bacteria known as streptococcus pneumoniae (Pneumonia, Meningitis, Septicemia). It will be given in 3 doses, 2 primary doses at 6 weeks and 14 weeks and the 3rd booster dose at the completion of 9 months. He informed that this vaccine will be given free of cost in all the government facilities just like other vaccines under routine immunization. Vial of this vaccine consists of 5 doses which will be given to a fresh cohort of children.Terming the drive as epoch-making to save our younger generation from the deadly jaws of the Virus, the Health Minister said that the dose will be given in 0.5 ml quantity through intramuscular route at anterolateral aspect of right thigh. This vaccine introduction will reduce under 5 mortalities occurring because of the pneumococcal diseases, which is the leading cause of the deaths in under 5 age groups.Mr. Sidhu added that the vaccine has already been introduced in the routine immunization schedule of146 countries. It was started in India in 2017 and aims to expand to the entire country by 2021 and it has also been used in the private sector for the last many years. It is one of the safest and costliest vaccine which has been provided free of cost by the Government in routine immunization schedules.
“Besides pneumonia, pneumococcal bacteria can also cause ear infections, Sinus infections, Meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord), Bacteremia (infection of the blood), he said adding that the state government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is committed to further strengthen medical infrastructure. Talking about the third wave of corona, the Health Minister said that the state has sufficient quantities of medical oxygen and other basic infrastructure to thwart the third wave. He informed that PSA plants have been set up or to be set up in hospitals so that oxygen supply would be ensured through pipes for every bed.Answering the queries of journalists, Mr. Sidhu said that the Health Department has decided to further enhance the building of Dera Bassi Sub Divisional Office so that the hospital could be able to cater the increasing demands of health facilities. Prior to this child name Divnoor kaur D/o Ramandeep Kaur of Dera Bassi became the first child of the state to get the dose of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine.Amongst those present on the occasion included Congress Party District President Mr. Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Political Secretary to Health Minister Harkesh Chand Sharma Macchli Kalan, Dr. GB Singh Director Health Services Punjab, Dr. Andesh Kang Director Family Welfare Punjab, Dr. Balwinder Kaur State Immunization Officer, Dr. Adarshpal Kaur Civil Surgeon Mohali, Dr. Sangeeta Jain Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Vikram Gupta, Dr. Manisha, Jatinder Mohan State Cold Chain Officer, Paritosh Dhawan JSI, Kuldeep Bawa SDM Dera Bassi and other officials.